WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement on Wednesday said that he affirmed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the United States is ready to engage in arms control negotiations in order to advance the security of the United States and its partners.
“In my discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, I affirmed that we are ready to engage in arms control negotiations that advance the security of the United States and our partners,” Pompeo said via Twitter. “We’ll continue to push for mechanisms that are verifiable and enforceable.”
In my discussion with #Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, I affirmed that we are ready to engage in arms control negotiations that advance the security of the United States and our partners. We’ll continue to push for mechanisms that are verifiable and enforceable.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 6, 2020
In an earlier statement, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus added that Pompeo and Lavrov also discussed other matters of mutual interest, including response efforts to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is the last remaining arms control agreement in force between Russia and the United States after the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The New START stipulates the reduction of the number of strategic nuclear missiles launchers by one-half and limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550.
The agreement is set to expire in February 2021, and the United States has so far not announced plans to extend the accord.